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Some climate change denialists are really stupid

Above is a photo of some place in Greenland. The unknown place looks a lot more hospitable than most of the photos I’ve seen of Greenland.

Greenland offers up a cold, icy, unwelcoming landscape. And this is the evidence, apparently, that the world is cooling – not heating.

Some climate change denialists are really stupid. The voice behind the logic that gives us Greenland as the best evidence that the world is cooling belongs to one of them.

I’ve read some amazingly inane comments from climate change denialists, especially from those who oppose solar or wind farms. You’ve probably seen them too: wind farms will blow the Earth off its axis; too many solar panels will soak up all the sun’s heat. Or then there’s the old favourite: It’s cold and it’s raining today so how could the planet be getting warmer?

Then I met one. In real life. They look and act like ‘normal’ people . . . but then they speak.

I am so amused with the one I met that I feel compelled to share it with you.

Said man was hired to do some handy work, which he promptly completed before bailing me up about this climate change nonsense.

“Look at Greenland” he roared. “The place is covered in snow. It must have been green once – that’s why they called it ‘Greenland’. It sure ain’t green anymore. Because the world is getting colder it has been snowing there for the last hundred years. What more proof do we need?”

Everything I offered in objection was padded away as an excuse. Greenland dispelled the climate change conspiracy!

He left without me educating him on how Greenland got its name. Apparently Erik the Red named it Greenland in an effort to entice settlers there. If the settlers had any inclination beforehand of how cold and miserable the place was then they wouldn’t have set foot near it.

Thankfully for their descendants . . . the place is getting warmer.

 

30 comments

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  1. David Stakes

    Green bits around the edges.

  2. Ana Milosevic

    You can’t polish the thurd….

  3. miriamenglish

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to explain to people who, if they’re not outright climate change denialists, are at least confused, when they talk about the colder than normal weather in New York or England, or some other place.

    Global warming adds energy to the system. That system moves back and forth a bit like a swing or a pendulum. Now the whole thing moves a little to the warmer side, but the extra energy pushing the pendulum makes it swing more wildly than before, so of course you’ll get some very unusually cold and extremely hot events. That’s one of the problems. We’ve thrown the system out of whack.

    Some people I’ve explained it to this way have got it, but others seem so impervious to information that maybe the only thing that will make it through their head is either a 6″ nail, or perhaps news about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage. [sigh]

  4. Michael Taylor

    Give him some credit. At least he applied some logic.

  5. keerti

    Why did you have to put that up? Now the libs who read this page will be headhunting the guy as an adviser to the “government”!

  6. diannaart

    We haven’t learned anything since Erik the Red – he lied to the people, nothing’s changed.

  7. kerri

    Don’t know if I like your explaination miriamenglish,
    but here’s something to consider? I think I have posted it before but this is by far the most frightening aspect of Global Warming to me. I will add I was taught this 36 years ago at Uni where I briefly studied Environmental Science but chose not to continue as it was too depressing.
    ALBEDO, the earth’s ability to reflect heat and light back into the atmosphere.
    Albedo is largely caused by the polar ice caps!
    The ice caps are shrinking! (So is Greenland’s ice incidentally)
    Therefore less heat is being reflected and more is being absorbed.
    As more heat is absorbed the ice caps will melt further.
    With less area covered in ice, less albedo.
    Less albedo more ice melt.
    More ice melt less albedo.
    You get the picture? It’s a loop that is very difficult to reverse once it has started.
    It HAS started!
    Any changes to Global temperatures will take 4 or 5 years to create a recognisable effect!
    Please watch this video if you have difficulty believing this and maybe explaining this to the simpletons who think the earth is cooling may swamp them with enough science that they cannot deny that you may just get through their thick skulls. If you do get through write and tell me how. I am married to a denier and our kids can’t believe his obstinance!

  8. mars08

    There’s a reason that documentary was called “An Inconvenient Truth”… far too many people don’t want to think about it. If we ignore it… or deny it… maybe it will just go away.

  9. Möbius Ecko

    “You can’t polish the turd….”

    Sorry for the diversion but this isn’t the first time I’ve picked this up. Mythbusters proved that you can polish a turd.

  10. mars08

    Mythbusters hasn’t seen the texture of our current crop of turds…

  11. Anomander

    The scariest part is idiots like that get to vote, hence the reason why we have the worst government in our history.

  12. miriamenglish

    True, it’s not a perfect explanation Kerri. It’s just a way to get the point across to people that adding extra energy to the system can move the whole system slightly warmer (“One degree? That’s nothing to worry about.”) and yet can lead to catastrophic results. People don’t realise how much extra energy global warming adds to the system. It causes more powerful storms and more water to be lifted from the ocean, and changes in the wind patterns so that some areas get more rains whereas other places get more frequent droughts. We can go into long-winded descriptions about positive-feedback and the whole system running out of control (although, strictly speaking we don’t know if there are other negative-feedback safety systems that stop this going too far when we get to really scary climate) but all this loses them before we get more than a few sentences into an explanation.

    The people we’re trying to reach will just close their eyes and think of the next three-word batshit-crazy reason why climate change is not real; or that it is, but it’s getting colder; or that it’s getting warmer, but people aren’t doing it; or that it’s a conspiracy by the lizard people from Draco to subjugate the Earth

    If we tell them an imperfect, but rough description of global warming, which is easy to visualise and takes account of the important points we have a much better chance of getting them to listen. It is easy to see a whole child’s swing, frame and all, being moved only a little way to the hot side by pushing it hard, while the seat is now swinging dangerously and wildly out of control, much more to the hot side and much more to the cold side.

    Sure, it’s not strictly correct, in that pushing it doesn’t directly make things colder, but it still carries the essence, in that wind chill goes up because of faster winds (energy added), and more snow gets dumped because more water evaporated (energy added), and the arctic wind patterns alter (energy added) bringing cold weather further south than normal delivering blizzards.

    After people stop resisting the message you can get the subtleties across.

  13. Matters Not

    offered in objection was padded away as an excuse

    Had an experience a few years ago when travelling through the Balkans with a small group that included a citizen from Colorado who was in two minds about ‘climate change’. He retired there to enjoy his skiing, built an expensive wood ‘cabin’ (in actual fact it was a mansion given the photos he showed me).

    Unfortunately he and his wife left the tour in Zagreb because the ‘wildfires’ hit Colorado reducing his cabin to ashes.

    I think he is now a ‘believer’. Mugged by reality.

  14. miriamenglish

    Kerri, I should have mentioned that the reflection of heat back out into space by the snow and ice on the Arctic and the absorption of heat by the naked sea is a good one, and easy to comprehend. Unfortunately people I’ve told this to have not understood how terrifying this is. The Arctic is a long way away. Even the Antarctic is a long way away.

    Even worse, I’ve spoken to some friends from the Northern Hemisphere who actually welcome global warming because they think it’ll mean warmer climate, less snow, longer growing seasons. I point out it also means malaria, yellow fever, and other tropical diseases and their view changes slightly, but on the whole it is difficult to get the message across to someone who is not prepared to see complex systems.

  15. miriamenglish

    Anomander, the “idiots” voting is not the scary thing. It is actually important that they do.

    The scary thing is that they are coordinated and brainwashed into voting against their own best interests by the Murdoch propaganda machine.

    As James Surowiecki wrote in “The Wisdom of Crowds”, a crowd where the members are tightly coupled and all of the same mind is an insane crowd. However when the people who comprise a crowd are loosely coupled individuals, all going their own way, then that crowd actually tends to become smarter than the smartest person in the crowd. And here is the weirdest part: if you remove the idiots from that crowd and just leave the smart people, the crowd doesn’t become smarter; it gets more stupid.

    What makes a crowd smart is diversity. It is the best message for democracy I’ve ever heard.

  16. Keith

    The media do not provide much information, with the Murdoch media obfuscating and white anting the science as much as possible. Meanwhile, science papers are becoming more strident. Nature is also providing many signals.

    James Hansen, and a number of other scientists tell us that having a 2C increase in global temperature is too high.

  17. Harquebus

    Here is an example. This guy claims to be a co-founder of Greenpeace however, Greenpeace denies this. He also claims that CO2 will help plants but, does not mention heat stress which, does the opposite.
    The Truth about CO2
    h ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDWEjSDYfxc

    While we’re on about Greenland, here are some amazing photos. Greenland’s snow is dark grey.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/09/16/jason_box_s_research_into_greenland_s_dark_snow_raises_more_concerns_about.html

    Some more links from my browsers history. Yes, I have read them all.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/05/1368815/-Greenland-passes-tipping-points-Positive-feedback-accelerates
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-arctic-ice-crisis-20120816
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/08/3643953/greenland-permafrost-thaw-microbes/
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29462-greenland-reels-climate-disrupting-feedbacks-have-begun
    http://www.dw.com/en/greenland-ice-melting-at-record-speed/a-17869513

    It is too late to reverse climate change. It is time to start worrying about how we will survive it.
    Global Warming Is Irreversible
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99888903
    http://www.bestofjay.com/w/after-hottest-year-on-record-ocean-warming-now-unstoppable/
    Is it too late for the truth… Tad Patzek, Ph.D.
    h ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXsvsksHi5g
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/07/20/sea_level_study_james_hansen_issues_dire_climate_warning.html
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/jul/20/oceans-warming-faster-than-climate-models-predicted

  18. mars08

    The media do not provide much information, with the Murdoch media obfuscating and white anting the science…

    The media seems to think that giving equal attention and air time is the “fair” thing to do. After all, there’s two sides to the argument. Never mind that scientists and professionals in the field overwhelmingly agree on the danger. Would the media give equal air time to anti-vaccinations views?

  19. Matters Not

    Yes ‘science’ doesn’t know ‘everything’.

    Dara Obrian explains.

    ‘Balance’ requires a Professor of Dentistry to be given equal time with those who use ‘string and a door’ re the removal of teeth.

  20. Bradley Temperley

    There was an apartment building in Nuuk that housed about 10% of Greenland’s population. That was on the telly, it was.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    Abbott announces Australia’s CO² targets today and the pundits are saying they are going to dismal, well below other countries like Canada and the US. Abbott has already laid the groundwork for low targets by saying economic recovery is more important at the moment.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what the reaction to his announcement will be. Internationally it will certainly be criticised but I think the MSM will mention it and then fob it off. The Murdoch media will play Abbott’s economic argument as an excuse.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    26% with more cuts depending on economic impact.

    Why is economic impact even coming into it when the economic impact of not cutting more will be far worse?

  23. Matters Not

    Note also that the cuts to be announced are over a longer time period than comparable countries. Something like 5 years more. As always, Abbott hopes people will focus on the headline and forget about the (significant) detail. Unfortunately, he’s had some success in that regard. Shakes head.

  24. miriamenglish

    Kerri, thanks for posting that video link. My internet is so slow that I have to download such things overnight. I noticed in watching the video this morning that there were some things I didn’t fully understand (such as the mechanism behind the “polar wind loops” that have been having such bad effects on Northern Hemisphere weather). I’m grateful to you.

  25. Harquebus

    Changes in the Arctic are exponential and not linear. The positive feedback mechanisms will quickly overtake us.
    An excellent presentation.
    http://www.apollo-gaia.org/ArcticDynamics.html

    The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, the Antarctic is land surrounded by ocean.

  26. Rossleigh

    Mm, Roswell, your title “Some climate change denialists are really stupid” reminds me of something I read years ago for some reason.
    “80% of teenage boys surveyed admittted to masturbating. The rest lied about it”!

  27. Brad

    Whilst there is no doubt that man made pollution is causing problems and global warming there is also the problem of the shifting magnetic pole adding to the ice melt. As the magnetic north pole shifts further toward Russia each year the circulating water currents also shift with it controlled by the magnetic force. This means that colder water shifts with the magnetic pole and that drags warmer water under the Arctic ice shelf melting it and thinning it from below. A problem that we may not be able to address.

  28. Rais

    The glaciers of Greenland are melting fast. As for how it got its name apparently there were a few hundred years when it was warmer and greener than it is now. Not all of it, of course, but some parts of the south. There are ruins where Norse settlers once had their farms. Today parts of southern Greenland are quite green in the short summer and there is starting to be some farming and horticulture. With global warming the growing season has lengthened by about two weeks in recent years, which is quite helpful for Greenland’s few vege and fruit growers. They can get their strawberries ripe. Here’s a random agricultural picture from a place called Narsaq in southern Greenland: https://www.airgreenland.com/media/119770/Narsaq-Air-Greenland_Image%20Size%20C.jpg. Of course for about seven months it would be covered in snow.

  29. Pingback: It’s cold and it’s raining today so how could the planet be getting warmer? We’ve heard this from Andrew Bolt | olddogthoughts

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